Last year Turlock High's varsity boys tennis team went a perfect 12-0 in the Central California Conference behind head coach Juana Alaniz, who after the season decided to call it quits while his assistant coach Bill Weber recently accepted the head coaching job at Denair High.
Pitman, which had a large group of talented juniors and sophomores last year, managed to place fourth in the CCC with a 7-5 posting but unfortunately, it wasn't good enough for the postseason.
This year, the Pride are returning their top two singles players in seniors Jeremy Moitoso and Devan Jantz for one last go at a league title and perhaps a deep postseason push.
“We have our top singles returning and we are a lot more consistently even, stronger. Our top four are very strong and we have a lot of experience this year as opposed to last year,” said Pitman head coach Doug Reimers.
The other top four singles players for Pitman will consist of Max Martell, Nick Gianfortorie, Nick Asher and Dennis Lawson.
The number one doubles team for Pitman will be Gore Hayer and Noah Goldberg, while the number two team is made up of Ross Wheeler and Lorenz Lat.
“We have just three underclassmen in the singles,” Reimers said. “Our goal is to have a better season than last season, win more than last year."
Former Turlock Christian High tennis coach Jack Schneider takes over the Bulldog program and brings in a young and enthusiastic approach from a former collegiate tennis player.
The Bulldogs are not only one of the deepest teams in the CCC, but also return their top five players in Davis Griffin, Alex Lima, David Lazar, Marco Andres and Ryan Asai.
Griffin will be anchoring the number one singles position with Lima at second, Lazar third, Andres fourth and Asai as the fifth.
Turlock's number one doubles team will consist of Nick Vardeh and Eilen Shabaz with William Anderson and Johny Brenda as the number two doubles team.
We have a lot of depth this year and we should next year as well,” said Schneider.
Competing for yet another CCC title might be easier said than done, but both Turlock and Pitman are confident that the possibility is there for success.
Turlock has already loaded up on preseason games, having faced Colvis West, Downey and Gregori before beating Atwater, 8-1, on Tuesday in their league opener.
“We should do really well this year,” Schneider said.
Turlock's next match will be at Merced High at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Pitman's next CCC matchup will be at home against Atwater at 3 p.m. Thursday.